After years of the protracted drama and media fodder, it seems the “Oxley saga” was really about how much Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern wanted from LKY’s Will.
Earlier today, the Court of Three Judges found Lee Suet Fern, wife of Lee Hsien Yang, guilty of misconduct when she misled LKY on the contents of the Last Will and acted dishonestly in the Disciplinary Proceedings. The judgement had found that Lee Suet Fern ignored the interests of LKY, and instead got LKY to hastily sign off on her version of the Will that would give her husband a bigger share of LKY’s estate.
Some are having a song and dance about how Lee Suet Fern was unfairly treated, but perhaps we should look at the facts and decide if Lee Suet Fern’s actions were proper or improper as a professional lawyer herself.
Her husband Lee Hsien Yang is a direct beneficiary of LKY’s Will. Getting involved meant that Lee Suet Fern can directly affect how much her husband would receive from LKY in the Will. Clearly, a seasoned high-profile lawyer like Lee Suet Fern would know that this is a clear conflict of interest, and yet she pressed on to ensure that LKY signed her version of the Will.
In addition, Lee Suet Fern also cut out Kwa Kim Li from her email correspondences with LKY on the last Will. Kwa was LKY’s original lawyer who had prepared all 6 previous versions of LKY’s Wills. At that time, Kwa was already in correspondence with LKY to amend his last Will yet LSF rushed within 16 hours to ensure that LKY signed her version of the Will instead. Why did Lee Suet Fern interfere so hastily instead of letting the original lawyer proceed with work that had already started?
Let’s look at some other points from the high court judgement:
Lee Suet Fern was proven to have lied under oath in the Disciplinary Proceedings. As a lawyer, surely she knows how serious this is!
There is also material harm caused by Lee Suet Fern’s involvement which meant that LKY ended up signing a document which in fact was not that which he indicated he wished to sign. Is misleading LKY, who was 90 years old at that time and who moved in and out of illness, wrong? Of course, it is!
When asked why she did all these, Lee Suet Fern said she was listening to Lee Hsien Yang’s instructions as an “obedient wife”. This seems to suggest that Lee Suet Fern’s main aim was to get the last Will executed quickly in accordance with what Lee Hsien Yang wanted.
If so, then they are a couple who have no qualms in lying to their father, just so they get what they wanted.
This has been a long saga – more than 3 years have passed. But let’s not forget that it was Lee Hsien Yang who made the first move to attack his brother Lee Hsien Loong publicly, and continued to publicly undermine LKY’s legacy and dragged Singapore’s international reputation through the mud.
Some of us had questioned why Lee Hsien Yang had gone so very public on what we all think is a private family affair and wondered if he was really doing all that for the good of Singaporeans. Today, the judgment of the Court seems to suggest that perhaps all the drama was really to disguise Lee Hsien Yang’s desire for a bigger cut of LKY’s estate and Lee Suet Fern’s misconduct in handling his last Will.
Anyway, this drama has now come to an end with this judgment. The ruling by the High Court is final and cannot be appealed. Lee Hsien Yang’s camp has aired the family’s dirty linen in public for far too long, and honestly, Singaporeans really don’t need such scandals as we try to recover from a crippling COVID pandemic.
Finally, many people can say what they like about this saga but in my view, legal misconduct, regardless of who you are and which family you come from, is a serious moral issue and a poor reflection of the kind of person you really are.
From a Singaporean who loves my country and really cannot stand dishonest people who try to bring it down